Issue 73 - The Economic Benefits of a Customer Success Platform
A Customer success platform delivers economic benefits in three ways: they reduce churn, drive up-sells, and drive sales through secondary revenue and referrals. At the same, they also lower the cost of retention because happier customers mean less work for your company. In this issue of the SaaS Tattler we discuss some of the economic benefits of a Customer Success Platform.
Join us, and a panel of three leading B2B SaaS executives on February 4 at 1pm ET, for a lively discussion on how to make the business case for investing in Customer Success Software.
As a SaaS business, your ability to grow will reflect your ability to retain customers and prevent churn. Hence the importance of the first economic benefit; reducing churn. As a startup, sometimes growth can be deceiving because of the initial excitement over new technology and the illusion of heavy cash flow. Don’t get me wrong, initial excitement is good but the key is keeping your customers happy and coming back for more. In this article, Srinivas Kulkarni offers advice to what SaaS companies can do to reduce churn and keep customers satisfied.
Make Interventions a Habit at Regular Intervals
Of course, while you're following up with your customer, you'll realize that there are many occasions when the customer isn't really using the product to it's fullest. It's imperative that you intervene and support the customer to your fullest ability. You need to chalk out a standard procedure, depending on types of accounts, as to how you shall help them, coach them and mentor them at appropriate junctions. When the clients are preferred, high end ensure very personalized approach.
Some of the customers know how to get to where they want to, but they may need the occasional push. Provide that to them. Give specific guidelines e.g.: "We noticed that the results to this campaign has been a challenge. We've analyzed that this feature of our product could help you better. Let me try and help you out". Follow up on what they need and how you can help them out.
The benefit of reducing churn is significant but when you’re growing, it doesn’t stop there. Satisfied customers will have a positive impact on your bottom line because creating brand advocates leads to renewals and upsell opportunities. In this article, Lydia Hornick explains how you can turn repeat customers into your bestfriends.
Expanding revenue from existing customers leads us to the topic of upsells. Good news: according to Marketing Metrics, it is about 50% easier to sell to existing customers than to new prospects. By the time of an upsell, it should come as a natural next step in the customer lifecycle that adds value to the customer account and/or solves an additional problem for the customer that they’ve come across. Upsells should be recommended to current customers when (and only when!) it will help them hit a new level of achievement.
QuickSprout reiterates the simple truth that in most cases people buy something because it solves a problem. As customer success and retention goals align, the deeper your relationship and understanding of your customer’s problems and needs grows, allowing you to better recommend an upsell solution for their problem.
This quote by sales legend Jeffery Gitomer summarizes this point perfectly, speaking from a customer point of view: “When it comes to up-selling, tell me how I win. When I win, you win.”
Happy customers are more likely to buy than unhappy customers and that’s why the last economic benefit is driving sales. It costs much less to generate revenue from an existing customer therefore for renewals, upsells, and cross-sells to be successful it’s important for there to be clear communication between the sales and customer success teams. In this article by PipelineDeals, they identify 12 tips for how sales and customer success teams can work together.
Before Closing a Deal
1 – Go after the right customers – talk to customer success managers and ask them to identify the most successful customers.
2 – Learn and use customer success stories – drag CSM’s into your sales meetings, have CSM present at your weekly sales meetings
3 – Teach customers best practices – document and teach the three things your best customers do with your product.
4 – Connect prospects with existing customers – always find ways to introduce them to your existing customers. This type of social selling is extremely powerful.
5 – Quick internal hand-off to CSM – have a checklist of items that need to be completed and move quickly. As a salesperson, have a transfer of knowledge so that you’re not the bottleneck as a salesperson.
6 – Kickoff call with customers – within 48 hours, have clear expectations of next steps and clear points of contact and responsibility.
7 – Initial value check-in – quick email/call to confirm value. Schedule it in advance.
8 – Social advocacy – ask for a recommendation on AppExchange, Twitter, and G2Crowd. You want to ask for a recommendation during the honeymoon period.
Ongoing and Expansion
9 – Health checks – review usage, benchmarks, and best practices.
10 – Get customers together – happy hour, dinners, LinkedIn, etc.
11 – Social Sharing – consistently share content on LinkedIn/Twitter.
12 – Bottoms-up feedback – send surveys to get end user feedback to review with leadership.
The Best of Customer Success Today
For fast-growing SaaS companies, it's easy to focus on new customers. But as much as new customers are rewarding, it's also important to take care of existing customers. Here are The Benefits of a Customer Success Platform in 13 GIFs.
Back in the day, customers accepted long shipping times unless you wanted to pay dramatically more for faster shipping, there was nothing to do but wait. How To Set Yourself Up For Customer Success With The Need For Speed.
Integrate marketing and sales and you are moving in the right direction, but add the customer success team into the mix too, and you’ve created a winning team trifecta. Good, No, GREAT Things Come in Threes: Build a Winning Trio for Customer Success.
Every week I issue this roundup of relevant articles from the customer success industry so we can learn from each other and share best practices. If you like what you read here, please consider forwarding to others. New reader? Subscribe.
Find an interesting article you would like featured in the next SaaS Tattler?
Feel free to submit them on this page.